Devorah Tarrow, Aesthetic Realism consultant, writes:
Many a wife has married hoping—sometimes consciously, sometimes not—that somehow she and her husband could encourage each other to be better people. Yet many a wife has found herself not encouraging but managing that same man: chidingly correcting his speech, pointing out what he ought to do, how he ought to behave or dress—even acting docile and servile with the purpose of getting him to do what she wants. Historically, husbands have objected, feeling the woman who once seemed so loving is now patronizing and belittling him. And wives have worried, “I’ve become a nag, but I don’t know how to stop!”
“Encouraging a Husband or Managing Him: What’s the Crucial Difference?” will be the subject of the Understanding Marriage! class on Saturday, June 10th, from 11:00 AM-12:30 PM. The class, taught by consultants Barbara Allen, Anne Fielding, and Meryl Nietsch-Cooperman, is open to all women and is based on these central principles stated by Eli Siegel, founder of Aesthetic Realism: “The purpose of marriage is to like the world. The reason happiness in marriage is such a rare item is that people have tried to love in a way that would mean less of a like for the world—in fact, a contempt for it.”
These comprehending sentences by Mr. Siegel, from an Aesthetic Realism lesson he conducted, will be the focus of lively discussion:
The chief difficulty in marriage is that people think the other person worries about them, and will even stick up for them when they’re attacked, but will not encourage them directly….Encouragement would mean that a desire of yours is that a person get to what represents him, what he rightly hopes for, and that he respect himself or be for himself. You see that person from his point of view….Aesthetic Realism says if you don’t encourage a person, you can’t think well of yourself. This is what I call the ethical imperative.
The class will show: the pivotal thing is a woman’s purpose: Is it to be fair to her husband and the world; does she hope to respect a man and the world more, or less? Women will learn that a wife can have a purpose—contempt—that stops her from being affected by who her husband really is; from finding out what he most and rightly hopes for. Understanding how this is so, and that encouragement honestly to know and like the world is what wife and husband urgently need, brings new life and happiness to wives and marriages!
The fee for the class is $10. For more information, call 212.777.4490.